I strongly suggest people listen to this discussion from the Bitcoin Standard Podcast. Even if you don’t think you care about the Islamic way of life and how they treat money, I guarantee you that you’ll find it fascinating.
Is Bitcoin the most Islamic form of money? What do Muslim scholars miss about bitcoin? Why does fiat hamper Islamic finance? Will bitcoin lead to more equity rather than debt investment? And much more in this fascinating discussion with @harris_irfan
Most of the discussions on the Bitcoin Standard podcast make you really think about certain things you’ve never imagined before.
In this one, they talk about the Islamic way of life and how bitcoin should fit into that. First of all, this is a major step, because the Islamic world is both numerous and prosperous. Should they accept bitcoin, we’re talking about massive adoption numbers. But other than that, it was great to learn that they have deep philosophical thoughts about money in their dogma.
Basically, they don’t like debt. If you die in debt, well that’s a sin. So their actions in life are geared towards not having debt. That shapes a lot of islamic financing, with zero interest (I’m not sure how that works but alright), and their focus on gold.
Basically we’re talking about an entire worldwide community that wants hard money. The problem is that their dogma doesn’t accept intangible bitcoin as gold, and this speaker’s argument was that they should accept it because it covers such and such properties. Also, their dogma is a bit more flexible so with enough pressure from financiers like him I hope that it adapts to the new reality. Saifedean actually said in the podcast that if the islamic world takes too long to adapt, they’ll HFSP.
I especially liked the way the speaker explains the blockchain to the islamic audience: Basically during Ramadan they chant, and it has to be from a specific book in a specific way and all the faithful know it by heart. And if the priest makes a mistake, he gets corrected. So that chant is a public ledger, and that’s how the blockchain works. And all the listeners go “Aha!” and they immediately get it.
That was interesting.
I also liked the comparisons between fasting and hodling, how it requires discipline of mind and body.
To show you how much these podcasts trigger philosophical thoughts, here’s another tweet: https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1398242032385245185.html
Harris Irfan @harris_irfan Replying to @allenf32 @saifedean and @AleksSvetski Everyone I meet in the bitcoin community is “frighteningly smart”. It was a real honour to speak with you, @AleksSvetski and @saifedean.
not to sound too grandiose but here follows my thesis on: what bitcoiners do and don’t fight over.
Harris said he found it quite intimidating how smart everybody seems in the community. on the one hand, yay, go us, we are super smart 🤓
but on the other, I think the intimation is more a function of behaviour than intellgience. and it’s indirectly a filter for humility.
there is simply no tolerance whatsoever for bullshit, and, simultaneously, the threshold for accepting something is that you understand it 100%, which means it needs to be perfectly explained to you also.
so there is likewise no tolerance for obfuscation, even if the content is essentially correct.
you can be as smart or as stupid as you like but this pressure forces you to admit you are only an expert in whatever tiny area you are actually an expert, if you are one at all.
and even then, you will get relentless shit so everybody is extra sure.
I think this is why the community is often referred to as “toxic” by people who might be well-intentioned going in and alarmed and unsettled on the way out.
as @dergigi has said multiple times (and I think has a tattoo now too?) this is a feature, not a bug.
compare this to whatever environment these people came from and you quickly realize theirs is far, far more toxic in terms of what really matters.
especially if they are academics, they will only ever have been told how great they are and may never have been disagreed with.
as Saif said when *I* was on his show, over and above any petty disagreements they may coincidentally have, the thing they absolutely agree on and will never argue about is that everybody needs more funding.
so what’s the difference?
very simple: we only care about truth. we don’t care about feelings or politics. in fact, we are trying to replace politics with truth.
they necessarily care about politics because that’s how they get more funding. truth is an afterthought.
so which is more toxic? an environment in which everybody makes absolutely sure not to offend anybody else lest their access to the violence-backed money printer be turned off? …
… or one in which I say Saif makes asinine arguments rather than following logic and he accuses me of thinkboi gymnastics and rhetorical flourishes to avoid the real issue (this happened the other week and I’ve already forgotten about what) …
… and rather than agitating for the other to get fired or to lose funding, we like each other more because i) we’ve made it very clear how much we care about the truth, and, ii) the sparring is fun anyway and it’s not like the other side can put up a good fight.
so what will we and what won’t we fight about?
also very simple: we fight about the truth so we don’t have to fight about anything else.
@Saifedean “We can keep using barbaric manual shitcoins that rely on the authority of violence, causing endless conflict & politics.
Or we could upgrade to a peaceful software solution that runs on electricity and cannot be corrupted by politics or violence.
That’s why bitcoin is worth it”
for anybody new around here: don’t be intimidated, it’s not personal. just be honest and humble.
anybody who has already left: good riddance.
anybody who has been here the whole time: good job, keep it up.